The Power of Love
We also need to realize that we build up a considerable amount of anger, shame, hurt and grief over the loss of love we never received. We need to get in touch with all these buried emotions and get rid of them by expressing them creatively and, if necessary, with the help of a trusted counselor. If we don't do this, we will inevitably take these emotions out on the ones we are closest too.
When overwhelming feelings of loneliness and emptiness continually plague us, we need to realize that their roots often lie in love deprivation from childhood. If so, it is important not to attempt to deaden or anesthetize our pain through endless activity, over busyness, performance, sex, or any food or substance abuse, etc. What is needed is healthy re-parenting and getting our needs met in healthy ways—and not expect others to fill the empty void in our life.
When we come to the realization that we didn't receive sufficient parental love, we're not looking to blame our parents because they could only give love to the degree that they had been loved. We don't want to feel sorry for ourselves either, but take responsibility for our re-parenting and getting our needs met in healthy ways—and, again, not expect anybody else to do this for us.
To re-parent ourselves we need to be genuinely and courageously open and honest in safe, trusted, non-judgmental, and affirming relationships (non-romantic) and keep accountable to these people. When we admit our weaknesses to safe people, we find we are loved and accepted exactly as we are. Through their love and acceptance, little by little we learn to love and accept ourselves in a healthy way. Only to the degree that we feel loved and accepted are we able to love and accept anybody else. One effective way to do this is in a safe twelve-step recovery group.
For those who have been abused, physically, emotionally, spiritually and/or sexually, it is essential to get counseling in order to resolve our fear so we can learn how to discern and receive healthy love and trust again.
To know and feel God's
love we start by accepting
his gift of forgiveness.
Above all we need to realize just how much God, the Heavenly Father, loves and accepts us exactly as we are so we can experience and feel his love and affirmation at the very core of our being.
Every year, especially at Christmas and Easter, we are dramatically reminded more than ever just how much God does love us. In sending his Son, Jesus, to come to earth and be born in a manger in Bethlehem and then die on the cross to pay the penalty for every sin you and I have ever or ever will commit, is a profound demonstration of God's love for you and me. To know and feel God's love we start by accepting his gift of forgiveness by confessing our sins to him and inviting Jesus to come into our heart and life as personal Lord and Savior. To help you do this, click on the God's Invitation button link at the bottom of the page.
And then we need to constantly remind ourselves of and thank God for his great love for us and pray that we will learn to love and accept ourselves as he loves and accepts us. It is also helpful to picture yourself as a child being held in the arms of Jesus and being blessed by him as he did the children when he was here on earth. These steps take time, but follow them faithfully and you will, in time, find the love your heart yearns to find. And then you will be able to say to Jesus, "The life you saved is mine! Mine!"
1. See 1 Corinthians 13:1-8.
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